Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

Dog with WatermelonHas your pooch been eyeing your watermelon slices? Wondering if your dog can eat some watermelon?

It’s a  sweet and juicy fruit that us pet owners often eat during the hot summer months. But, sometimes our dogs may try to sneak a few bites of watermelon from the table. Watermelon is a yummy flowering plant that actually falls under the cucumber family. Though it is considered a vegetable, even your pawsome pooch is sure to fall in love with it.

So, in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about feeding your dog’s watermelon in the summer. We will look at:

  • Can Dogs Eat Watermelon
  • Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Rinds?
  • Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Seeds?
  • The Many Benefits: How Watermelon Can be Good for Dog’s
  • Potential Disadvantages: Is Watermelon Safe For Dogs
  • How Much Watermelon Can Dogs Eat?
  • DIY Watermelon Summer Dog Treats
  • Alternatives To Watermelon

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon

The biggest misconception people often have is that there seems to be a strong belief suggesting that dogs are obligate carnivores. This is not true! While dogs are classified as carnivores thousands of years of domestication has essentially led them to become omnivores.

This means that adding fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet can be safe and even healthy for your pooch. When it comes to watermelon, dogs can indeed safely eat watermelon slices or cubes in small amounts.

Why Do Dogs Love Watermelon

If you’ve ever wondered why your dog may like certain fruits, vegetables or foods then it’s probably got something to do with his taste preference. Dogs actually have the taste receptors that can respond to sweet, bitter. Sour and even salty! The only difference is that their sense of taste isn’t as advanced as ours.

So, if your dog has simply got a love for watermelon, blueberries or even pineapple then chances are he’s got a sweet-tooth and simply loves sugary foods like most of us do!

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Rinds?

Ideally, most dogs will prefer consuming the fleshy parts of a watermelon. This is because the fleshy parts of a watermelon are sweeter, rich in nutrients and filled with cool juicy water. However, occasionally you might have a mouthy pooch who may simply love chewing on watermelon rinds.

Watermelon rinds are a tough, fibrous plant material that can be consumed by dogs who chew it well. However, as dogs do not produce the enzyme amylase they may not be able to completely break down such a fibrous material. As such dogs can develop gastrointestinal disturbances or even a blockage if they consume watermelon rinds.

Watermelon rinds are not toxic nor are they necessarily dangerous to all dogs. Some dogs may have no issues consuming watermelon rinds, however, dogs with sensitive stomachs may not do well if they consume rinds.

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon Seeds?

While eating the fleshy, red parts of the watermelon your dog may accidentally consume a few watermelon seeds in the process. Watermelon seeds are not poisonous to dogs, so if your pooch consumes a few it will be okay.

However, watermelon seeds may not be completely digestible as such dog’s who consume a lot of watermelon seeds may be at risk on intestinal blockage. Furthermore, if your pooch has got a sensitive tummy then chances are he’s going to feel nauseous as a result of gastrointestinal upset.
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon

The Many Benefits: How Watermelon Can be Good for Dog’s

In moderation, watermelon can be very beneficial for your dogs health. Watermelon is a rich in:

  • Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that will help keep your dog’s skin, teeth and eyes healthy.
  • Vitamin C is a fat-soluble vitamin that aids in repairing damaged skin, cartilage and tendons. This is the vitamin that’s responsible for healing wounds by encouraging collagen growth.  
  • Copper has many important functions. From a physiological standpoint, Copper aids in iron absorption.
  • Potassium is an important mineral and electrolyte that has many important functions. To name a few potassium is important for normal heart function and muscle contraction.
  • Lycopene

Lycopene and its Effects on Dogs

A study done in 2014 evaluated the various health benefits that may be associated with the consumption of watermelon. They found that the antioxidant lycopene is found in abundance in watermelons. Lycopene has been associated to have many health benefits to humans, this includes:

  • Lycopene is prevents cancer
  • Lycopene reduces the risk of cardiovascular complications
  • Lycopene decreases the risk of diabetes

Though this study has been conducted on the basis of human medicine it can still be applicable to our canine friends.

Lycopene isn’t classified as an essential antioxidant, so pet foods companies aren’t obligated to add lycopene in their formulas.

However, it can still be beneficial for dogs and is currently being studied. For example, in 2010 scientist began studying the effects of lycopene on canine osteosarcoma in dogs. They found that the use of lycopene may potentially decrease the growth of osteosarcoma cells.

Potential Disadvantages: Is Watermelon Safe For Dogs

Too much of any food can have potential disadvantages. The same is true for dogs who eat a lot of watermelon. Here we’ve listed a few disadvantages of watermelon for dogs:

Intestinal Blockage

As we’ve mentioned before, dogs don’t digest tough, fibrous material. As such, dogs who have consumed watermelon rinds or watermelon seeds may develop an intestinal blockage.

Diarrhea

Fruits such as watermelon are quite high in fiber and sugars. Fruits often undergo fermentation in the digestive tract of your dog.  As such too much fruit in your dog’s diet can result in diarrhea and gas.

Vomiting

Dogs who tend to consume foods fast may be prone to stomach upsets. If your dog eats a lot of watermelon and watermelon seeds, then it is possible that he may have a few small vomiting episodes.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Dogs with sensitive tummies may develop stomach upsets and gastrointestinal problems from consuming too much watermelon. This is likely because of the high fiber and sugar content present in watermelon.

How Much Watermelon Can Dogs Eat?

So, how much watermelon can your dog eat? There’s really no definite answer to the question as every dog is different.

Ideally, if you have a large, healthy dog then you can give them as much as half a watermelon once a week. However, if you have a small, healthy dog you might have to cut down their watermelon consumption to just ¼ once per week.

If you have a doggie with a really sensitive stomach then you can give them a few seedless watermelon slices occasionally over the summer month. Ultimately, how much watermelon you feed your dog is based on your own dogs personal factors.

DIY Watermelon Summer Dog Treats

Are the summer months just unbearable for your pooch! If you’re looking for a creative and fun way to include watermelon dog treats in your dog’s diet then here’s a pawsome watermelon treat you can try!

Frozen Watermelon/Banana cookies!

What you need:

  • Seedless watermelon slices
  • 1 tablespoon of Honey
  • A pinch of salt
  • Bananas
  • 1 tablespoon of Coconut cream

Blend the red, fleshy part of your watermelon slices in a blender until smooth. Add one banana, coconut cream, salt, and honey to the mixture. You can also add some water to keep smoothen out the texture. Once blended well, pour the mixture into an ice cube tray or silicon molds. Freeze for a few hours and serve on a hot summer’s day!

Alternatives To Watermelon

Are you looking for yummy, healthy alternative to watermelons? Here is a list of pawesome summer fruits and treats your pooch can eat instead of watermelon.

Pineapples! Sweet and rich in minerals is jam packed with vitamin C, zinc, potassium, iron, copper and even iron.

Bananas are another great alternative for dogs as it’s packed with vitamin C and potassium. These fruits are a pawtastic way you can boost your dog’s immune system.

Blueberries are another great fruit that’s packed with a whole lot of antioxidants! Blueberries are rich in fiber, vitamin K and can help fight cancer cells.

What About Dog Treat Alternatives?

Interested in dog treats rich in fruits and veggies? Here’s a list of pawesome dog treats you can purchase for your pooch instead of fresh fruit.

Isle of Dogs- is a wholefoods line free from gluten, meat and meat by-products. It has no artificial flavourings or preservatives. This doggie treat is oven-baked and packed with blueberries.

NUTRO Crunchy Dog Treats is a yummy crunchy treat that’s oven baked. Nutro Crunchy dog treats are packed with pieces of blueberries, cherries and cranberries for your pup to enjoy. And if you’ve got a doggie who loves his meat. Then don’t worry! Nutro has a little bit of chicken meal for those dogs who love their meat!

Final Thoughts

So, can dogs eat watermelon? Absolutely!

Watermelon is a safe and healthy fruit your doggie can enjoy over the hot summer months. However, dogs cannot consume excessive amounts of watermelon rinds and seeds as this can cause intestinal blockage and stomach upsets. Remember, every food needs to be given  in moderation.

Got a question about watermelon for dogs? Have some pawesome watermelon treats you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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